Dear Baltimore: Can We Borrow John Waters?

Whatever you want to call it -- oomph, zest, cha-cha-cha, joie de vivre, plain old malarkey -- outrageousness is on the wane these days. Well, no surprise there; we're all trying to figure out how to get by, get through, and get over this hump, however long this hump may last (we're hoping we all see the other side of it by next Monday, but chances are slim).

Being a bit outrageous, displaying flair, taking your fun where you find it is part of LA's character, however, and thus should be something every Angeleno strives for, regardless of where we all are in our journey/job search/daily grind. The upcoming Doo Dah Parade is a great example of embracing this quality.  Put on something sparkly, pay ten bucks and dance before thousands through Old Town Pasadena.  That the parade now happens in January should be a call to us all to live bigger and brighter throughout the coming year.

John Waters, for us, is kind of a human Doo Dah, in the best sense: the man's made a brand out of outrageousness, but he's done so thoughtfully and with heart. Whether he's got advice for the incoming president, or he's making another movie about singing punks or outlandish moms, the man's hugging his sense self tightly to his chest and not letting go. How did Baltimore get this visionary? To us, the man's oh-so-SoCal.

So wherever each of us is at at this moment, couldn't we all use a pinch of Doo-Dah-ness or Waterian can-do? We think a bit of zip is one key to a happier '09...

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